Parenting Adolescents

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer families have many of the same parenting challenges and joys as heterosexual parents.

The Raising Children Network is a fantastic resource for all parents with reliable information and resources to support them in the day-to-day work of raising children. The website has information specific to pre-teens and early teens.

However, there are some challenges unique to parenting children for LGBTIQ parents. These challenges can seem more profound when parenting high-school aged children and young adults. You may want to talk with your child about your sexuality and/or gender identity.  Adolescents’ cognitive abilities are much like adults. However at this stage in a young person’s development they can be very sensitive, self-conscious and ego-centric. Their peers are very important and they may be very focussed on the impacts having an LGBTIQ parent will have on them and how their peers will perceive them. They are also developing their own sexual identity at this time. This could make conversations with your child about your sexual and gender identity difficult. You might find it helpful to talk with other parents about your experiences on our forum. Also read our sections on coming out to your children and communicating with your children.

For young adults, Melbourne bookseller Hares and Hyenas has a good range of books that include diverse relationships and families .

Teenagers might also like to look up COLAGE, an organisation for children of LGBTIQ parents. Our website also has a section for children of LGBTIQ parents here.

If you have a child attending high-school, you might be thinking about how best to engage with their school to ensure a safe and supportive environment for them. The Family Equality Council has created a Back to School Tool which is a fantastic resource for parents. Our Rainbow Families QLD online forum is also a great place to talk to other parents about how they approached engaging with high schools.